Thursday evening at The Horn last week (27th October) saw one of the best gigs I’ve been to in a while take place, featuring indie four piece The Relights, post-punk rock band Fiende Fatale, and Welsh heavy alt-rock trio Trampolene. The Horn is one of my favourite venues as it’s always full of thriving exciting rock music and Thursday night showcased this perfectly, with the evening full of post-punk heaviness, blaring guitar riffs, and killer rock’n’roll.
The first band to play were The Relights. They’re an interesting group; there’s nothing that outstanding about them but they managed to retain a quirky feel good indie rock sound throughout their set, with solid riffs and vocals throughout. They were definitely a good warm up piece, with a quirky Britpop-indie undertone to their tracks, drawing comparisons to bands like Oasis in terms of their sound. My favourite track by the band was The Last Time; the guitar has this ridiculously catchy, memorable sound- it’s a breezy, light indie-rock track. They’re not the sort of band for moshpits or hectic crowds, nor are they one I could envisage playing big rock venues or festivals; but the solid structure of their music is truly promising, and the four piece are a lively addition to the Hertfordshire/ Bedfordshire indie music scene.
The next band to perform were London rockers Fiende Fatale, who I was genuinely blown away by. Speaking to lead vocalist Matt beforehand, he told me they’re very much a garage post-punk band, with inspirations from bands like The Clash and The Sex Pistols, as well as more modern artists like Jamie T. And the heaviness and power of their set was blinding; there’s a very intense sense of hectic madness to their music, which reminded me a lot of 2006 Arctic Monkeys, as well as current punk bands like Wonk Unit and Pulled Apart By Horses. Their set was a mental burst of punk tunes with blaring riffs from Alex (bass) and Rolph (lead guitar), and powerful aggression from Dom on drums. Matt has the perfect stage presence for a band’s front man too- there was a very vivid sense of fun charisma on stage, with rough rock vocals and borderline rapping on the track Car Crash. What I loved about the band too was the intricacy of their music, with their clear DIY punk ethic clear- their tracks were full of elaborately complex riffs, matched perfectly by the roaring drums. Everything tied together brilliantly, producing a ferociously savage alt-punk sound which ripped through the venue. It’s rare to see support bands, especially at a small local venue, who sound that intense, but Fiende Fatale’s energy and power and skill promises a lot for the future of punk music
And then for Trampolene; the band are made up of Jack, Wayne and Rob and hail from Swansea in Wales. Earlier on this year at The Libertines’ London gig, Jack opened for the band, performing a few of his spoken word poems, including Ketamine and To Be A Libertine. His To Be A Libertine poem has always hit me hard because it means so much to me; for any Libertines fan, it’s hard to describe the overwhelming love and dedication to the band we have, but Jack sums it up perfectly, my favourite line in the poem being ‘time for heroes, weird not weirdos…I know what it means to be a Libertine.’ He performed a few of these spoken poems solo near the end of the gig, with bassist Wayne and drummer Rob nipping out of the venue for a quick cigarette in between. The poems have a brilliant quirkiness to them, similar to the wittiness of Philip Larkin or John Cooper Clarke. The band as a whole have the messiest, best rock sound I’ve heard in ages. Their tracks are proper rock ‘n’ roll, drawing in post-punk, Britpop, and alt-garage sounds. Their gig was full of roaring blaring hardcore rock music, taking you right back to the dark underground rock scene from the days of Arctic Monkeys, Franz Ferdinand and The Libertines. The heaviness of their music was enthralling- Jack’s heavy Swansea accent came out in his vocals too, giving their tracks a rich sense of authenticity and pure Britrock brilliance, and they also had the Welsh flag hung up between Wayne and Jack’s microphones. The set list was brilliantly put together; they opened with my personal favourite You Do Nothing For Me, before going on to perform a variety of other tracks, including It’s Not Rock & Roll and an acoustic cover by Jack of the Smiths’ Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want. It was a pure rock gig, with a brilliantly messy, post-punk feel to their music. They’re such a sick band live too, with an undoubtedly infectious energy and messy sexy aura on stage. The heckling from the crowd (with fans requesting the poem Pound Land as well as a poem about Bourbon biscuits) gave the whole gig a really personal feel. There’s nothing clinical or dull about the band either; even more so live than on record, they’re a refreshingly brilliant burst of hardcore rock music. They’re enthralling and captivating with mind-blowing tunes: British rock at its fucking best.
Gig rating: ★★★★★
See Jack’s tour diary below (side note, I was the one in the Libertines shirt!)